EPA selects Groundwork Denver to receive $178,000 Brownfields job training grant to build a skilled environmental workforce in Sheridan, Colorado
Groundwork Denver one of 18 organizations selected nationwide to support environmental job training in economically distressed communities
DENVER - Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing the selection of Groundwork Denver to receive $178,000 in grant funding for an environmental job training program in Sheridan, Colorado. Groundwork Denver is one of 18 organizations selected to receive $3.3 million in funding to build a skilled environmental workforce in economically distressed communities across the nation. Job training and workforce development are an important part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to advance economic opportunities and address environmental justice issues in underserved communities.
Funded through the Agency’s successful Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training (EWDJT) Program, the grant will provide funding to Groundwork Denver to initiate an innovative and equitable new Green Infrastructure Training (GRIT) program. Green infrastructure uses vegetation, soils and other greenspace features and natural design practices to manage runoff, conserve water, improve surface and groundwater quality, and create healthier communities. Over the course of two summer seasons, the program will provide young adults, ages 18 to 24 primarily identifying as racial and ethnic minorities, with job training on green infrastructure design, implementation and management. The training will focus on various skills applicable to both private and public green infrastructure projects, such as community forestry, sustainable landscaping, stormwater control, and heavy machine operation, as well as occupational safety training.
“The brownfields grant funding will promote jobs for justice by providing local youth in the City of Sheridan with access to environmental and natural resource professions that were not available to them before,” said Mark A. Smith, director of EPA Region 8 Land, Chemicals, and Redevelopment Division. “Through direct engagement and training, the GRIT program will prepare graduates for much-needed job opportunities that contribute to the future health and vitality of their own community.”
“Groundwork Denver is excited to work with the EPA to expand green job skills and opportunity for young adults in Sheridan,” said Groundwork Denver Executive Director Cindy Chang. “Our young people will become part of the solution to environmental justice while making their own neighborhoods safer, cleaner, and more healthy places to live and work.”
EWDJT grants provide funding to organizations that are working to create a skilled workforce in communities where EPA brownfields assessment and cleanup activities are taking place. Rather than filling local jobs with contractors from distant cities, these organizations offer residents of communities historically affected by pollution, economic disinvestment and contaminated brownfields properties an opportunity to gain the skills and certifications needed to secure local environmental work in their communities.
Individuals completing a job training program funded by EPA typically graduate with a variety of certifications that improve their marketability and help ensure that employment opportunities are not just temporary contractual work, but long-term careers. This includes certifications in:
- Lead and asbestos abatement,
- Hazardous waste operations and emergency response,
- Mold remediation,
- Environmental sampling and analysis, and
- Other environmental health and safety training.
Since 1998, the Agency’s EWDJT Program has awarded more than 335 grants. With these grants, 18,541 individuals have been trained and 13,751 have been placed in careers related to land remediation and environmental health and safety.
For more information on the selected Brownfields EWDJT grant recipients, including past grantees, please visit: https://cfpub.epa.gov/bf_factsheets/index.cfm?grant_type_id=1003&grant_announcement_year=2018
For more information on this, and other types of Brownfields grants, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/environmental-workforce-development-and-job-training-ewdjt-grants
For more information on environmental justice at EPA, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice
For more information on Groundwork Denver, please visit: https://groundworkcolorado.org/